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Guest Peggy L

"Shall" and meetings designation

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Guest Peggy L

We're in the process of revising our Society bylaws.

A question has arisen about the language used regarding the word "shall."  Like the sample bylaws in RONR, we use the word "shall" throughout the document.  For example, "Meetings shall be held on the first Saturday of March, April, May....."

One of the committee members said the bylaws should read "Meetings are held on the first Saturday of March, April, May...." rather than "shall be held" because this is a revision of long-standing bylaws; that we are not setting up a new Society saying what shall be but rather what "is."  

Is there some standard or best practice in this regard?  I haven't found anything in the book indicating one so thought I'd ask here.

Thank you.

Peggy

 

 

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9 hours ago, Guest Peggy L said:

One of the committee members said the bylaws should read "Meetings are held on the first Saturday of March, April, May...." rather than "shall be held" because this is a revision of long-standing bylaws; that we are not setting up a new Society saying what shall be but rather what "is."  

 

Tell the committee member that if he wishes to be pedantic, he should first be right.

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Guest Student

To answer this from another perspective, the bylaws are not descriptive but proscriptive. Yes, your meeting schedule is what it currently is. But the bylaws aren't there to describe what is, they are your authority telling you Why this is the way it is. If they were just descriptive, then your society could just change anything in the bylaws just by, for example, not holding a meeting in April. Instead, it that's what your society wants to do, it has to change the bylaws to allow that.

Putting that out there in the hopes that it may convince your committee member if the other answers don't.

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On 12/20/2017 at 10:57 AM, Guest Student said:

To answer this from another perspective, the bylaws are not descriptive but proscriptive. Yes, your meeting schedule is what it currently is. But the bylaws aren't there to describe what is, they are your authority telling you Why this is the way it is. If they were just descriptive, then your society could just change anything in the bylaws just by, for example, not holding a meeting in April. Instead, it that's what your society wants to do, it has to change the bylaws to allow that.

Putting that out there in the hopes that it may convince your committee member if the other answers don't.

Prescriptive.

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